Until now, your dog might have been your main baby – but with the arrival of a new human sibling for them imminent, all of that will soon change. Whether you are nearing your due date or have decided to start trying to expand your family, it’s natural to feel worried about how your pet is going to react. After all, having a baby is a huge change for everybody involved, including your dog. Making sure that your dog is well-prepared for their new sibling’s arrival in advance will help everything go smoothly and encourage them to become the best of friends.
Invest in Extra Training
If you have just found out that you are expecting, now is a good time to think about investing in some additional behavioural training for your dog. You can take your dog to weekly classes or drop them off at an intensive boarding program to learn superior behavioural and obedience skills, so that you can rely on them to be on their best behaviour once your new baby arrives. A well-trained dog is usually a dog that you can trust, and it will provide you with more peace of mind once your bundle of joy is here. Speak with a professional trainer about any particular behavioural issues that you are concerned about and want to nip in the bud before the baby arrives.
Spend Time With Children and Babies
If this is your first baby, chances are that your dog hasn’t spent a whole lot of time around small humans. It’s a good idea to introduce them to as many young kids as you can to help them adjust to them and get used to the idea of having a baby in the home. Ask to meet up with nieces and nephews, friends of the family, and anyone else you know who has a child who’s happy to spend some time with you and your dog – just make sure that they are supervised constantly.
Put Firm Boundaries in Place
It’s important to get your dog used to the new boundaries in the home in advance of the baby’s birth, so that when the baby arrives, you don’t need to worry about training them and getting them used to the new arrangements along with looking after a newborn. For example, once you have the nursery set up, it’s a good idea to start teaching your dog to stay out of that room using barriers and baby gates so that they are used to the new home boundaries once the baby arrives.
Make Gradual Changes
Chances are that your dog’s routine is going to change once your baby arrives and having so much changing at once can be a massive source of stress for your pet. Because of this, it’s a good idea to start making changes gradually in advance of the baby’s birth to help your dog get used to their new routine. For example, you might have less time to walk your dog once you’ve had the baby, so it’s a good idea to get them used to their new dog walker well in advance.
You may also want to consider dealing with any behavioural issues and improving your dog’s health in advance by switching them to a better diet. Raw food is becoming a more and more popular option – check out these dog food results from Bella & Duke. Their dog food results surveyed over three thousand customers, with over 90% seeing a positive difference in their dog within just a couple of months of making the switch.
Change Sleeping Arrangements
The last thing that you want is for your dog to feel pushed out once the baby arrives. If your dog sleeps in your bedroom with you right now, chances are that you might not want them in there along with the baby once they are born. Before your baby arrives, it’s a good idea to start encouraging your dog to sleep elsewhere to ensure that they are used to the new sleeping arrangements once their new human sibling is here, allowing you to get through the night with fewer disturbances.
Introducing Your Dog and Baby to Each Other
Once your baby arrives, it’s important to take the time to introduce your dog to their new human sibling gradually and carefully. You can do this by first giving your dog something with your baby’s scent on it, such as their blanket from the hospital, before allowing them to meet in person. After the initial meeting is over, spend as much time with both your dog and your baby so that your dog knows that he is still an important part of your life.
With the right planning and preparation, your dog could become the perfect furry brother or sister for your new arrival. Having a new baby is a big life change, so it’s important to consider how it’s going to affect your dog and ensure that they’re ready too.